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A Guide To Contemporary China

China Wants To Lead In Robotics

China has been the world’s largest consumer of industrial robots for eight consecutive years, says the Ministry of Industry & Information Technology. Revenue in 2020 was reported at over $15 billion. The focus is now 2035 with the goal to achieve breakthroughs in core robotic technologies and high-end products. Besides, the number of robots employed in the manufacturing sector will double. By 2035, China will become a leading country in the robotics industry, and robots will contribute a major part to economic development, people’s daily life and social governance, according to the development plan.

Source: People’s Daily

Stressed Out ‘Cyber Cleaners’ Need Help

China’s internet companies have an army of so called content moderators who 14-15 hour days looking intently at screens and scrubbing anything associated with horror, violence, pornography, and information deemed politically sensitive or offensive. This is taking its toll and recently a content moderator died, apparently due to too many hours on the screen. His company Bilibili denied that was the case but a public backlash ensued. Still, those in the trade say nothing will change unless the government steps in.

Source: Sixth Tone

McDonald’s Xinjiang Menu Raises Eyebrows

McDonald’s China is no stranger to bizarre culinary concoctions and quirky marketing gimmicks But its latest offering is sure to rouse the attention of the international community – the Xinjiang specialty combo. This is an order comprising a chicken burger, two cumin chicken wings, a yogurt McFlurry with grapes and oats, and a classic Coke, all for about $6. The buzz is it is McDonald’s way of catering to the government’s demand that Xinjiang and its culture and cuisine be promoted to the outside world. The food chain will have ten stores in the province by next year.

Source: Radii China & Agencies

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Shanghai Restaurant Gets Guinness Record

At a height of 556.36 meters, the Heavenly Jin restaurant in Shanghai was recently certified by Guinness World Records as the highest restaurant in a building. The previous record holder was ATMOSPHERE restaurant in Burj Khalifa, Dubai. Heavenly Jin is on the 120th floor of the Shanghai Tower, the country’s tallest building. Guinness World Records judicator Maggie Luo confirmed the result before issuing a certificate and unveiling a plaque. Jenny Zhang, general manager of the building said “the height of the restaurant is proof of the dedication of the Heavenly Jin management and operational teams. We welcome guests and friends from all over the world with a higher-level experience above the clouds.”

Source: China Daily

Censorship of ‘Friends’ Leaves Fans Confused

The global television show Friends has fans everywhere but none more than China. Local media claimed that there are more than 110 Friends-themed coffeehouses in the country. So, it was no surprise that the return of the famed TV show on online streaming platforms has seen huge viewership. The first season of Friends has received more than 26 million views on Bilibili, while also topping the viewing charts on other platforms. There are problems though and that’s to do with censorship. Any sexual references are deleted in the Chinese dubbing leaving viewers confused. This is especially so when the show refers to Ross’s divorce because his lesbian wife leaves him for another woman. Many perplexed fans expressed their disappointment on Chinese social media which soon became a trending topic. “We are adults. Do not ruin this classic,” some demanded.

Source: Global Times

China’s Mars Orbiter Sends Back Selfie Video

Taking selfies is a must these days and China’s Mars probe Tianwen-1 has become part of the trend. In extended festival greetings to the Chinese people, a selfie video was taken, through the probe’s detachable sensors, of it hovering above the red planet on Monday, the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year. It also offered a view of the sun’s reflection casting on the orbiter, a Chinese national flag shining on the spacecraft and the ice cap on the red planet’s north pole. The Tianwen-1 orbiter has completed 557 days in space at a distance of around 325 million km from Earth. The Mars rover Zhurong has been operating for 255 Martian days and has driven a total of 1,524 meters on the surface of the planet.

Source: Xinhua